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Report: More Mortgage Fraud Arising From Collusion

Mortgage origination fraud may be on the decline, but incidences of collusion appear to be trending up, according to a report released Wednesday by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. After noticing a rising trend in collusion, LexisNexis created a new index specifically to measure incidences of collusion. Collusion has been on the rise since 2009, according to Tim Coyle, senior director of real estate and mortgage solutions at LexisNexis. LexisNexis also observed collusion reports on properties experiencing 50 percent to 95 percent price depreciation.

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California Governor Signs Homeowner Bill of Rights Into Law

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Wednesday that Gov. Edmund G. Brown signed two provisions of the much-debated Homeowner Bill of Rights into law. The Homeowner Bill of Rights so far consists of a series of related bills containing provisions that prohibit certain practices by lenders that have been attributed to the state├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós foreclosure crisis. The new law bans robo-signing, the act of fraudulently signing mortgage documents without review.

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Madonna’s Former Beverly Hills Home For Sale

Aspiring Material Girls take note - Madonna's former Beverly Hills residence can be yours for $18.495 million. The recently listed 1940s estate has also played home to mega-watt stars including Betty Grable and Diane Keaton, and we're sure they;re very thankful that the walls of the seven-bedroom pad cannot talk.

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Mortgage Rates Tumble on Disappointing Jobs Report

Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates finding yet another record low. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.56 percent (0.7 point) this week, down from 3.62 percent the previous week. At the same time last year, the 30-year loan averaged 4.51 percent. This week marks the fourth month that the 30-year average has stayed below 4 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, averaging 2.86 percent (0.7 point), a drop from 2.89 percent last week. A year ago, the 15-year fixed averaged 3.65 percent.

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Initial Jobless Claims Reach Four-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 26,000 to 350,00 in early July, reaching the lowest level since March 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The prior week's total was revised up to 376,000 from the originally reported 374,000. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a modest decline to 375,000 initial claims. Continuing claims ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported on a one-week lag ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô fell 14,000 to 3,304,000 from the prior week's 3,318,000, revised from the originally reported 3,306,000.

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Americans ‘Confident’ About Housing Recovery: Survey

Despite fears of an economic slowdown, more Americans feel confident about the housing recovery, with 72 percent of survey respondents recently affirming their belief that the real estate market will recover over the next two years. Releasing their quarterly survey, Irvine, California-based Brookfield Real Estate and Relocation Affiliates, Inc., also found that 69 percent of respondents believe that real estate still makes for a sound investment despite market volatility, an increase by 6 percentage points from the first quarter. More Americans also seem to feel more favorably about the housing market.

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Credit Agency Files Antitrust Suit Against CoreLogic, Experian

Florida-based CreditBureau Services filed a suit Tuesday against Experian, the national consumer credit data repository, and CoreLogic, Inc., the nation's largest credit report reseller, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for alleged violations of the antitrust laws. The suit claims that Experian and CoreLogic sought to deny smaller credit agencies access to Experian's mortgage credit information for "tri-merged" mortgage credit reports. Banks and investors require tri-merged reports to extend credit for home mortgages.

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Mortgage Applications Slide as Interest Rates Fall

Mortgage applications fell 2.1 percent from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found declines for applications amid new historic lows for mortgage rates. According to the MBA, average contract interest rates for home loans broke new records across the board. New lows for interest rates included the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming balances (3.79 percent), the 30-year loan with jumbo loan balances (4.05 percent), and the 15-year loan (3.15 percent). Five-year and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages likewise fell to a new low of 2.71 percent.

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